David retired chef
I have spent all of my working life in the food industry, hotels then speciality retail food and latterly restaurant.Now retired but active with gardening and DIY.
My problem was really highlighted when I saw the photographs of my daughters wedding - I couldn’t at first understand who the bent over old man walking her down the aisle was! I was introduced to Alison through a friend and, committed to positive action agreed to work with her. I have to confess that having no previous experience of yoga or other body exercises I found the first couple of sessions daunting and was quite unsure just what was being achieved. Session three and it all started to make sense, this positive feeling continued and grew over the rest of the sessions. I am now balanced, walking upright, head correctly positioned using my eyes to ensure my footing rather than walking head permanently down. What a difference!
Alan working still at 69:
My name is Alan I'm 69 and live in Kendal. I have worked physically most of my life and have thought of my self as being active and fit.
I have suffered from lower back pain on and off throughout my life until fairly recently. The problem became constant and with greater severity some 18 months ago. I have sought the help of many alternative health practitioners over the years, with no long term solutions.
I sought Alison's help 5 month ago. Although the problem remains, I am learning techniques to help me with a long term strategy for my spinal health.
I am now able see positive results in returning to a normal lifestyle.
My mental health has also improved with the belief that I am gaining the necessary tools to look after myself.
I highly recommend Alison.
Yvonne a retired 70 year old lady with knee and back pain:
Before I started the course I was full of fear for the future, because I could hardly walk. I was also depressed and felt old and rather sad. I couldn't enjoy my walks with my dog. I worried about my sons seeing me like this.
Now I feel more confident about dealing with pain myself and I have much less pain. I feel confident about doing things with my friends and family and I can reduce my anxiety through using the stillness technique.
Lewis the gardener who had a diagnosed prolapsed disc, after 10 lessons on video link:
I have found learning the Alexander technique, so far, a really worthwhile experience clearly and concisely taught by Alison.
It’s not a technique that requires the usual cracking of joints I have experienced previously, it is a gradual learning process that is now becoming the norm. It is also a full body process which takes some getting used to and learning on Zoom has not been an issue.
I use the techniques everyday to make my home and working life so much easier and sustainable. As an ageing gardener I am more aware of my body and the need to do things in a way that will prolong my career, it is a new tool in my van!!
The biggest thing for me that I think has really had an affect is the ability to stretch when I feel my back aching. To think that a few months ago I was lying on my back unable to move in the hall having called an ambulance and now as I progress through my Alexander journey I feel I won’t be going back there.
Gil - a therapist after a 3 week course
Alison has really helped me to be aware of where the tension in my body stems from and how best to avoid it from building up. We have looked at various postures such as sitting, standing, driving and lying down. As a massage therapist, I found Alison's practical advice to be most useful. We practiced the best posture for being at the massage table; where to position the hips, knees, shoulders, head and arms so as to avoid tension, whilst allowing flowing movements. This was more in depth than the training received at college.
She has also given me easy tips on how to gently relax certain muscles which I am already passing on to my own clients. Incorporating the Alexander Technique into a complementary therapist's every day work would, I am sure, extend the working life of a therapist as well as making it a more comfortable one. I would really recommend that therapists receive some training in the Alexander Technique, to help them reduce tension whilst working, to aid relaxation of muscles at the end of each day and prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
Fiona from Ingleton after six lessons:
Alison's one-to-one lessons are helping me regain balance and coordination following spinal surgery. The tailored sessions drew my attention to habits that were affecting posture and movement. Alison has enabled me to experience fluidity of movement again.
Harry a school teacher after the second lesson:
My body felt light as a feather when I left – so much tension had drained from it. Thank you.
Jenny from Settle, therapist:
Another great AT session. I am feeling the unlocking and the weight moving through the muscles very obviously. I think I have a lot of tension to release!
Laura a therapist after several lessons:
The exercises that you have given me on the pelvic floor have definitely improved my back and my digestion. At night I sleep better, my back pain, which was keeping me awake at night before, has now gone.
Karen, IT support after several years of lessons:
I've had lessons with Alison for some years now, not because I'm a slow learner, but because there's always something new to explore together. I would have said I had no particular problems when I started, other than an awareness that spending five long days a week at a keyboard, reacting and responding to problems in computer systems, isn't the healthiest of jobs. But I soon discovered I'd plenty of classic Alexander habits! In observing and changing those
I've found encouragement to observe and change habits in other areas of life too.
Alison is always intuitively responsive to my need in each lesson. Sometimes it's just to unwind, lying down the entire time; sometimes to move around the room; sometimes to stretch, gently or strongly, combining yoga with the Technique in a very satisfying way.
We focus too on particular areas, perhaps breathing or how to apply the Technique to particular activities such as fell walking or working at a computer, in one lesson or building over several. There's never anything to get wrong, just exploration and what if suggestions. The results can be surprising, even astonishing, though it's impossible to describe how something in the body can suddenly
change and feel as it should be. The more you remember what this feels like, the easier it is to sustain or regain in everyday life.
I'm so grateful to Alison for guiding me on this journey.
Here are some comments from people after their first session:
"a big weight has lifted off me"
"you moved me without pain"
"my hips feel amazing"
"We would both like to thank you for the AT session today. We both feel to have benefited. No more slouching in a chair for me! Already looking forward to next week's session."
How this happens is not through hard work but by letting go.